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"I don't know even how to express my happiness" + the best advantage in life

By Tom Bode, WSI President


Lydia loves learning. So she was full of joy when last month, she graduated from university with a Bachelor's of Education, qualifying her to teach high school chemistry and math. This comes after eight years of support from WSI, which paid for her high school education and supported her while at university.


Like other WSI students, plenty of obstacles stood between Lydia and earning an education. She grew up without a father in a slum area, with no money at all. But she had the best advantage anyone can have: a great mother.


Lydia's mother loved her, supported her, and believed in her. "Mama Lydia" earned a living by selling snacks and tea along the roadside. Years ago, when Lydia was sponsored by WSI to attend high school, her mother saved for a year to have electric lights installed in their small house. Then, when Lydia came home from school on break, her mother paid for by-the-hour electricity so Lydia could read and study after nightfall. (Read about visiting their home in this 2017 post.)


In the short video below (from 2019), Lydia tells the story of how she and her mom learned that she passed an important exam that allowed her to attend university. You'll be surprised to hear what they ate to celebrate!

While Lydia was at university, her mom became ill. She left the house where she installed lights and moved to live with family in their rural home, near the town of Kisii. She was so happy to see Lydia celebrate her graduation. Now, Lydia looks forward to starting work as a teacher, which will let her support her family. But Lydia, who loves learning, has her sights set even higher. After completing her last exam, she wrote me:


We are excited to see where she goes next. Go, Lydia, go!





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